Being Grateful For Forgiveness

As another November comes falling in, I’ve found myself back at a familiar place. A place that pulses like a hopeful whisper on a Monday and dreary confusion by Thursday. Where the wounds incurred along life’s way are quiet and content one day, bumped and bruised the next.

Where releasing grudges intersects with remembering goodness … where canceling another’s debt cultivates a spirit of humility … where letting go of the need to be right lingers in knowing that one day He will make all things forever right.

But until that Day, He has shown us the way for all our days that hold delight and devastation, solace and sorrow, beauty and brokenness, love and loss.

What if it’s really possible to make peace between the pulses? To give grace for the whispers and the wounds because of a heart awakened with thanks.

The way of forgiveness.

Forgive. It means, to cancel (a debt); to cease feeling resentment against (an offender); pardon one’s enemies.

In Luke 23, the Roman governor, Pilate, delivers the Son of God over to the shouts of an angry, blood-seeking mob.

To be crucified on a Cross.

And “Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’” –Luke 23:32-34, ESV

A prayer of thanks.

Father God,

They surrounded Your innocent Son on every side. Before and behind, stood those who mocked, beat, cursed, and killed the King of kings. And on either side of You hung men guilty of crimes. One of them hurling insults at You. The other holding on to You, for eternal life.

And if we dare to close our eyes and really see, there we are, too. On one side, hanging dead in our sin. On the other, hoping alive in Your sacrifice.

Because You, in torn flesh and with a bleeding heart, turned toward us rather than away from us. And with a loud voice, You cried out on that Cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’”

You, the spotless Savior of the world, hanging on right there in the middle of us–for us. This, the fulfillment of every good purpose and promise of Yours from the genesis of time.

And then, while the whole earth shook black, Light forever broke through and changed everything, for those who would receive.

Our debt would become our bond. Our plea would become our praise. Our shame would become our glory.

Your death would become our life.

We are astounded. Not only did You make a Way for us that dark and holy day, but You showed us the Way.

Lord, how do we say thank you?

Perhaps, it’s simply that we keep giving away the Gift. May we, too, forgive as we have been forgiven.

But Lord, we confess, we struggle here. Oh how we hurt here. Help us remember, it wasn’t easy for You here, either.

Your heart was broken into a billion pieces on that day of pardoning. Your scars hold the proof.

And so we pray, Awaken our hearts with praise that, yes, there is Peace between the pulses of all our days–days of delight and devastation, solace and sorrow, beauty and brokenness, love and loss.

Glory to God,


“Thanksgiving – giving thanks in everything – prepares the way that God might show us His fullest salvation in Christ.” -Ann Voskamp

*Prayer adapted, Day 23 Coming To Light: An Advent Experience Through the Book of Luke by Jodie Frye

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